Enjoy flavorful slow cooker meals for pennies

Crockpot® Cooking

by Susanne Myers

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How would you like to come home after a long day at the office or after spending all afternoon driving the kids all over town to the delicious smell of a home-cooked meal, hot and ready to serve? That's exactly what you can expect with slow cooker meals. Ready to give it a try?

Here's one of my favorite slow cooker recipes. It was submitted by one of the readers of my newsletter, Barb in Vermont. Not a month goes by where we don't have this at least once.

Beef roast
6-8 potatoes, peeled and cut in half
2 medium onions, cut in quarters
Carrots (I use the baby carrots)
1 packet of French onion soup mix
1 can of cream of mushroom soup

Salt and pepper the roast and put it in the frying pan just to brown all the sides. Put the roast, potatoes and onions in the slow cooker. Mix the French onion soup mix, mushroom soup, and about 1/2 cup of water together. Pour it over the mixture. Cook on high for about four to five hours or on low for about six to eight hours. Add the carrots usually the last hour, so they don't become mushy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using a slow cooker:

  • Don't overfill your slow cooker. Leave at least 1/3 empty to allow everything to cook properly.
  • Cook meat until it reaches 140 degrees F. For most meat dishes this, means cooking it on low for eight hours or more.
  • Don't open the lid. You'll lose too much heat and it will increase your cooking time.
  • Layer your ingredients according to recipe directions.
  • To thicken sauces, etc., you can cook the dish on high with the lid removed for the last 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Add quick cooking vegetables last, usually during the last 45 minutes.
  • Add spices when the meal is cooked through.

Susanne Myers is responsible for The Hillbilly Housewife website. Susanne is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Susanne's grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. As part of her Blog tour, Susanne is donating 20% of all sales on HillbillyHouswife.com to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. You may want to check out the Hillbilly Housewife Club, a membership site for frugal minded moms where we share recipes, tips and plenty of resources to help us all stretch each dollar to the max.

Take the Next Step:

  • Get cash back on the groceries you buy. Checkout 51 can show you how!
  • Continue to trim food costs by visiting our food & groceries section to get tips and tools for keeping more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.

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